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View Diary: Book review: The balance and battle between individualism and community (88 comments)

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  •  And how old are those achievements? (0+ / 0-)

    the youngest is - 50 years old?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:54:33 AM PDT

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    •  this book reviews the history of the country (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quill, eXtina, bill warnick

      thus an appropriate topic. just because things have been lost along the way doesn't mean they were never there.

      Dionne describes the "long consensus", set up by Populists and Progressives. That is is being frayed by radical individualism doesn't change history.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:07:27 AM PDT

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      •  but those programs were fought for tooth & nail (0+ / 0-)

        I obviously haven't read the book, so maybe I'm not being fair, but if Dione thinks conservatives were any more communitarian back then, then maybe he should re-review his history. Just about every govt program that worked for the common good and/or actually helped anyone below the aristocracy was violently opposed by conservatives, going back to the very beginning, and certainly before socialism became a bugaboo.

        •  and yet there are examples (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quill, Susan from 29

          from Nixon (EPA) to Reagan's city on a hill (taken from the Puritan John Winthrop) to the humble penny (e pluribus unum) of community thinking.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:29:34 AM PDT

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          •  certainly, and point taken (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DemFromCT

            But it's also the case that the nastiness we see today is not new at all and has always had the potential to over-run conservatives' more communitarian instincts.

            •  true but at the same time (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              quill, Susan from 29

              current conservatism make Nixon (wage-price controls) and even Reagan (tax increases) seem like center left politicians. There wasn't always a Grover Norquist-Paul Ryan-Rand Paul cast to the party. Jacob Javitz was indeed a Republican.

              Al of that puts today's Repulicans in ever starker relief.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:03:10 AM PDT

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            •  put differently (0+ / 0-)

              today's brand of conservatism is  "nasty without community".

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 28, 2012 at 04:17:29 AM PDT

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          •  I have a question (0+ / 0-)

            Does Dione imply that the communitarian aspect of American society make us exceptional? I'd argue that we actually have much less of that than other cultures (democratic or not) and that the only thing that makes us "special" is the individualism (and not in a good way). That, and the very, almost religious, belief that we are exceptional.

            •  it's the balance that makes us exceptional (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Susan from 29, quill

              and different than europe.

              too far communitarianism? Prohibition, which failed. Too far individualism? The Gilded Age.

              Dionne also argues that that successful balance has also cut off social democratic or overtly religious parties, which have developed elsewhere. here, they more or less work within the 2 party system.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:56:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  and btw Dionne also describes current politics as (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, Stuart Heady, Susan from 29

      a battle over define history, hence its relevance. tea partyists can't refer to their ideals as those of the Founders and let that go unchallenged. it's wrong,  it's revisionist history.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:08:44 AM PDT

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    •  finally Dionne also cites (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, belle1

      the socially tolerant millennials as an example of community not being dead, and if anything, the wave of the future. Just not the present. It's the difference between gay marriage acceptance and demographics changing for tomorrow even as NC and other states ban gay marriage and older white voters still predominate.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:16:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The inherent tension... (5+ / 0-)

      in the American historical imagination between the individual and the community is part of our social and political DNA. Americans continue to practice what Tocqueville called the associational impulse in a myriad of ways. (Tocqueville considered this one of the greatest strengths of the young republic). That tension may seem muted because of the toxic nature of our national political discourse, but that discourse is an abstraction to most Americans. At the local level (where most of the real governing happens, whether in school board meetings, planning commission hearings, city council meetings, etc.) the central tension within American ideology informs us every moment. MSNBC and Fox may obscure this, current Tea Party cannibalism may obscure this, the hideous political play-by-play invented and exploited by the pundit class (so they may burp their gassy conventional wisdom "insights" daily and then synthesize them into a forgettable book every 18 months) may obscure this, but it is nonetheless true. We are associational, and we will remain so. Just ask my Democratic, Republican, and Independent neighbors.

      Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

      by JoesGarage on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:42:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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